LEEDS UNITED manager Neil Warnock has cast aside weeks of transfer frustration to sign top-flight pair Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas – with rivals Sheffield Wednesday also sealing a double deadline-day loan swoop.
United and the Owls, both languishing in the bottom half of the Championship, were the big White Rose movers ahead of the 5pm emergency loan deadline, with Hull City also making a high-profile signing in Leeds-born England goalkeeper David Stockdale, from Fulham.
Wednesday chief Dave Jones has signed Stoke City striker Mamady Sidibe, 32, on a month’s loan, offering the Mali international the chance to rescue his injury-hit career, while also signing Manchester City left-back Jeremy Helan, 20, for a month.
The signings of Swansea City centre-half Tate and West Brom winger Thomas until January have added to the feel-good factor at Elland Road generated by Wednesday’s announcement of GFH Capital’s takeover of the club after months of uncertainty.
With Jason Pearce still suspended, Warnock has confirmed Tate will make his debut for the Whites against Championship leaders Crystal Palace at Elland Road tomorrow, with the United manager hailing him as a ‘leader’.
Tate, who has been with Swansea for the past 11 years and a team fixture for most of his time in West Wales, is desperate to make an impact at Elland Road after making just three Premier League appearances this term.
Tate, who has made 325 appearances for the Swans, said: “I do not want to watch games, even if it is the Premier League. I want to play games and I have to think about my future.
“Watching is not what I am about, so to come somewhere like this and play games, who knows what will happen?
“We will see how the month goes here. If (joining full-time) is an option, then it is something I will have to think about.”
The arrival of Jerome, 29, will bolster United’s options on the flanks, with Warnock delighted to land the Londoner after trying unsuccessfully on a number of occasions in the past. Warnock, who will speak with GFH about his January targets after tomorrow’s match, added: “Jerome is a player I have tried to sign five times, so it is about time I finally got him.
“He is just what we are looking for and I want him to come here and enjoy himself. He is direct and positive when he is attacking and fits the bill as just what we want.”
The arrival of Sidibe will bolster Wednesday’s attacking department, with the Owls’ frontline strikers having hit just nine goals between them this term, with top scorer Chris O’Grady also currently out injured.
On paper, the move to sign Sidibe represents a bit of a gamble, but given their goal-shy predicament and the side being just three points off the foot of the Championship, Jones felt it was one worth taking.
Sidibe recently returned to action after a two-year battle to recover from serious knee and Achilles injuries.
Since 2010, he has twice snapped the Achilles tendon in his right leg and, after also suffering a dislocated knee, said he had contemplated retiring.
But last week he confirmed his return to fitness, playing 82 minutes and scoring in an Under-21 game against Spurs.
There was no incoming business at Huddersfield Town or Barnsley, with Reds boss Keith Hill doing his shopping early by bringing in Jonathan Greening, Akos Buzsaky, Emile Sinclair and Marcus Tudgay in the past week.
There was no activity at Sheffield United or Doncaster, despite Rovers boss Dean Saunders meeting with the club’s board yesterday morning to discuss their transfer budget.
But with the club riding high in League One, squad strengthening at the Keepmoat Stadium has been put on hold until January.
In League Two, Rotherham United completed three deals, signing Huddersfield full-back Liam Ridehalgh and Blackburn Rovers’ teenage centre-half Jack O’Connell, while extending the loan of midfielder Lee Frecklington. But they failed in a move for Bournemouth’s Wes Thomas.
Bradford City brought in England Under-19 international midfielder Blair Turgott on loan from West Ham.